The ‘VIP yard’
After a weekend spent indulging in the rare angle of wave energy produced by the latest cyclone that turned southwest, I busily made the final preparations for Laurent, the yard’s in-house glasser, to get started cutting away the shaft log the following morning. The week prior, the mechanic had helped me remove my transmission, to better access the leak area and I’d spent another day disconnecting all the hoses and wires that run through the area that we planned to cut out and re-glass.
The chaos of Oli had settled. Poe was eating plenty of fish (and fortunately it seemed she liked to eat about every hour rather than 14-20 minutes!) and growing bigger and fluffier by the day. And as for me, well, I was once again adjusting back to life in the boatyard. This time was a little different, though. Swell was put in an outlying, long-term storage yard, because the rest of the yard space was full. Everyone considered it a terrible spot, but, in fact, after a few days I had decided that I kinda liked it:
I’m the only one living aboard my boat amongst a flock of fancy catamarans. The one just adjacent serves as a fantastic yoga platform with an ocean view. A hose in the corner of the yard is my shower. My Italian friends’ house is just around the corner where I can freeze water bottles for my icebox and keep fresh fish for Poe. The mosquitos are a bit worse over here, but I’ll take mosquitos over ‘creepy kissers’ any day…and so goes life in the ‘VIP yard’, as I now call it.
So Monday morning I waited patiently for Laurent’s arrival…8:30am…No Laurent…another hour passed…no Laurent…
So I decided to stroll the yard to see if I could find him…
There in the workshop, I found him laying up a damaged rudder.
“Bonjour, Laurent!” I greeted him.
“Bonjour.” He replied.
“I don’t mean to bother you,” I said in French, “but I thought we were getting started today? What is your schedule?”
“Oh, yeah, well…in fact I have a lot of other small projects to do right now. I don’t want to be spread all over the place. I prefer to finish up all of the other jobs first and I think I will be ready to start your project sometime in the first week of March…” He turned and went back to work on the rudder.
A bit shocked by the setback, I stiffened and furrowed my brow…
“The first week of March!??” I thought. “That’s over two weeks away??!!”
But there was nothing I could do. It didn’t make much sense to me, but from my prior experience working with him, I knew that arguing wasn’t going to help.
Freshly forlorn, I stared at my feet as I wandered back down the road towards Swell, mulling over my options…What about that email that I’d received from a Cal 40 owner, Fin Beven, about how he’d extracted his shaft log without cutting away the glass…?
Over the weekend, I’d only scanned it, thinking that Laurent was already set to get started.
I climbed the ladder to Swell, and I pulled up the email to read it more carefully…